Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility

The Higher Education Act requires that institutions of higher education establish minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress for students receiving federal (Title IV) student aid. Wake Forest applies the same standards to all federal student aid programs, to institutionally-controlled need-based aid programs, and as required to state aid programs including the Need-Based Scholarship for North Carolina residents.

Certain federal aid programs have higher academic and/or other requirements, which are communicated to recipients. Other general student eligibility requirements to receive federal financial aid are listed at www.ed.gov.

Students pursuing a first bachelor’s degree in the undergraduate schools of the University are considered for institutionally-controlled aid. Institutional aid generally is not available for summer sessions. Certain institutional aid programs (including some merit-based and talent-based scholarships) have higher academic and/or other requirements that are communicated to recipients. The receipt of athletic aid is governed by NCAA rules.

Certain state aid programs have additional eligibility requirements including residency evaluations, which are communicated to recipients.

Evaluation of students’ satisfactory academic progress for purposes of financial aid eligibility is made at the end of each term (fall, spring, summer), to determine eligibility for the following term. Students who have grade or other academic changes for a previous term, after an end-of-term evaluation has occurred, may request an additional evaluation by writing to the Committee on Scholarships and Student Aid at financial-aid@nullwfu.edu. Evaluation is also made upon students’ readmittance and/or return to active status following a period of continuous enrollment status.

The minimum standards include all coursework that is applicable to a bachelor’s degree (regardless of the timing of the student’s declaration of a major or change in major), all coursework accepted or credited toward a bachelor’s degree (transfer hours, Advanced Placement hours, International Baccalaureate hours, College Level Examination Program hours, etc.), and all other coursework (repeated courses, graduate-level coursework, etc.) taken at Wake Forest while enrolled as an undergraduate student.

During a semester in which a student drops courses or withdraws or begins continuous enrollment status, the number of hours attempted includes those hours attempted as of the earlier of

  1. the withdrawal or continuous enrollment status effective date, or
  2. the last day to drop a second part-of-term course without penalty (as published in the academic calendar).

To maintain academic eligibility for federal aid, a student must:

Complete the requirements for a bachelor’s degree within a maximum number of hours attempted of 180. A student is ineligible when it becomes mathematically impossible to complete his/her degree within a maximum number of hours attempted of 180.

Pass at least two-thirds of those hours attempted in the undergraduate schools of the University. Incompletes count as hours attempted, unless from a non-credit course. Audited classes do not count as hours attempted.

Maintain the following minimum cumulative Wake Forest University grade point average on all hours attempted in the undergraduate schools of the University (including courses with a grade of incomplete):

For Hours Attempted of A Minimum Cumulative GPA of
fewer than 30 1.60
at least 30, fewer than 60 1.70
at least 60, fewer than 90 1.80
90 and above 1.90

The Wake Forest University grade point average calculation excludes pass/fail courses. In cases where a student repeats a course for which he or she received a grade of C- or lower, the cumulative grade point average is calculated by considering the course as attempted only once, with the grade points assigned reflecting the highest grade received. However, this provision does not apply to any course for which the student has received the grade of an irreplaceable F.

To maintain academic eligibility for federal student aid, a student must also must avoid academic suspension by the Committee on Academic Affairs, by earning more than six grade points in any given semester as described in the “Requirements for Continuation” section of the Undergraduate Bulletin.

A student not meeting the minimum standards of satisfactory academic progress for purposes of financial aid eligibility when evaluation is done at the end of each term (fall, spring, summer), is placed in financial aid warning status for the following term of enrollment. The financial aid warning status lasts for one term of enrollment, during which the student may continue to receive financial aid funds. A student still not meeting the minimum standards after a term in financial aid warning status loses eligibility for the next term of enrollment, unless the student successfully appeals and is placed on financial aid probation, which may include the approval of an academic plan.

 

Appeal Procedure

Denial of aid under the policy for Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility may be appealed in writing to the Committee on Scholarships and Student Aid and mailed to P.O. Box 7246 Winston-Salem, NC  27109-7246; emailed to financial-aid@nullwfu.edu; or delivered to the Office of Student Financial Aid, Reynolda Hall Room 4.

A student’s request must include information regarding why the student failed to maintain satisfactory academic progress, and what factors have changed that would allow him/her to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress at the next evaluation. Please note that the Committee cannot access students’ health or academic records from other University offices. Students must provide directly to the Committee, any records or documentation necessary to support their request.

The Committee may grant a probationary reinstatement to any student, upon demonstration of extenuating circumstances documented in writing to the satisfaction of the Committee. Examples of extenuating circumstances and appropriate documentation include, but are not necessarily limited to the following: injury or illness of the student or immediate family members—statement from physician that injury or illness interfered with opportunity for satisfactory progress; death in family—statement of student or minister; temporary or permanent disability—statement from physician. During a probationary period, students may continue to receive aid. Reinstatement after probation can be made only after the student has received credit for the appropriate percentage of work attempted with the required cumulative grade point average.